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Mnangagwa's govt neglecting diplomats, Parly told

by Staff reporter
03 Jul 2020 at 07:53hrs | Views
THE government is neglecting its foreign missions and owes ambassadors and employees a cumulative US$30 million in salaries, rentals and tuition fees.

Presenting oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Minister Sibusiso Moyo said the ministry was facing a number of challenges in dealing with the welfare of Zimbabwean diplomats abroad. Moyo said government was in 15 months arrears, but had devised a plan to clear the debt.

"Ambassadors are owed about $16 million, staff is owed $2 million, we owe $7 million in rental and the other money still in arrears is for the welfare of the ambassadors' families, including fees for their children and Treasury has not funded or availed them with the money," he said, adding that the ministry required US$4 million each month to run the embassies.

The Foreign Affairs minister told Parliament that accommodation has been a challenge as most embassies had not been maintained for years, adding that the
embassy in South Africa had a leaking roof and in Germany, the ambassador's house was gutted by a fire, while the Hong Kong embassy had been closed.

He said the ministry was changing furniture and office equipment which was dilapidated.

Responding to why Treasury was failing to pay diplomats, director in the Finance ministry, PFungwa Kaseke said they were facing financial challenges, but were dealing with salary arrears and had purchased cars for the ambassadors.

Source - newsday